Hooligan History


Hoo-li-gan:

1. n : A tough and aggressive or violent youth.
2. n : A cruel and brutal fellow.
Syn: Tough, Ruffian, Hoodlum, Hood, Street-fighter, Thug, Bully, Gangster.

The Origin of the Name Hooligan is uncertain. Though one of the Earliest mentions of the term was in an 1898 London police report . An Irish Hood named Patrick Hooligan (possibly originally Houlihan) lived in Southwark (South-East London) and originally hired himself out as a bouncer. He was Ruffian by trade who gathered a gang around him and worked his crew as dime store hoods. Patrick and his boys mugged people, were racketeers of sorts ,committing acts of violence and vandalism but were notorious for their street-fighting ability. A writer named Clarence Rook in 1899 wrote a book called “the Hooligan Nights” which was a young Thugs story in his own words. Rook wrote “ There was but a few years ago , a man named Patrick Hooligan, who walked to and fro among his fellow men , robbing and occasionally bashing them. “ Patrick eventually killed a policeman during one of his street fights and was sentenced to life in prison.

The term may also have come from the slang “Hooley’s Gang” (in reference to Houlihan’s Gang) and was later shortened to Hooligan. Either way it’s origin was of actual Irish Bad Boys making their mark on history. It is funny even today how a man’s street reputation precedes himself.

Later the term Hooligan became prevalent in British writing. It became virtually a household word. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons (1904) “It seems to be one of those senseless acts of Hooliganism which occur from time to time and it was reported to the constable as such.” In Edward MacLysaght’s The Surnames of Ireland (1957) the name Hooligan is not listed even as a derivation of Houlihan. The Origin, according to Etymologists is unattested as it’s origin has not been proven. Still it is believed that Patrick Hooligan gave his name to street-fighting criminals and football supporters worldwide. Hooligan also appears in many languages.

In the 1950’s Communists in Europe used the term Hooligan to describe unfavorably anyone who opposed Communist Regimes such as the Hungarian Revolutionaries of 1956 and later the Polish Solidarity demonstrators. Using “Hooligan” to describe Anti-Communists? What could be better? Hooligan even today goes hand in hand with the RAC (or Rock Against Communism) movement… Awesome! Romanian dictionaries contain the word Huligan and it translates into the English words “Hoodlum” and “Teddy Boy” . A Russian slang term “ Huliganka” is often used and means “you little rogue”. My Rusky Neighbor called us that all the time, now I know what she meant.

Today , The Most popular use of the word Hooligan is used for European Football Fans who gather in groups to support ,often violently, their favorite team. Opposing teams have their own Hooligans and when several thousand Football fans are thrown together at a match, all hell breaks loose. Football Hooliganism is mostly a violent disorder involving the fans that occurs before ,during or after a Football Match. Much Football Crowd Disorder is spontaneous , but a lot is prearranged by gangs, or firms, or crews. These Firms attach themselves to Football Clubs and arrange to meet and fight other Firms from other clubs. Football Hooliganism peaked in the 1960’s , 70’s, & 80’s , but remains a big part (or tradition) of Football matches today. While closed circuit television , increased security and police presence have seemed to quell violence at the matches, It actually forced Firms to be more organized and carry out retribution in areas outside the Football Arenas. As Hooligan Violence has almost doubled in the present day, a lot of the melee goes unreported as Firms meet for gang warfare far away from the police and security. As the Violence becomes more vicious and exact, the victims are less likely to report crimes committed against them. Well I guess that means they are just gonna have to take justice into their own hands. Long Live Hooliganism!



As American Football (and other sports) don’t have a reputation for Hooligans fighting each other , Many American sports still have riots that occur as a result of a games outcome, whether a win or loss. American Hooliganism is less organized, where there is a lack of Firms or Crews for a particular sports team. Though American Hooligans who spark riots may be a minority of the whole sports fan population, they still utilize the mixture of tension, alcohol and mob mentality. Hats off to those Anarchists who are the catalysts to mob rule and facilitators of chaos and disorder.

In a Nutshell , we at Fighting Hooligan Clothing define Hooligans as previously listed. Or in other words… Watch out!… We have violence in our minds!